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16th October, 2022

Three English pairs fell at the final hurdle at the 2022 YONEX Dutch Open after storming runs in Almere, Netherlands.

Callum Hemming and Ethan Van Leeuwen, Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith and Hemming and Jessica Pugh all were in action on Sunday’s finals, after a week of impressive performances from English shuttlers.

But all had to settle for silver medals on this occasion despite their best efforts in the Netherlands.

The men’s doubles was first up with Hemming and Van Leeuwen taking on Taiwan’s Chiu Hsiang Chie and Yang Ming-Tse. This came on the back of a dominant 21-9, 21-19 semi-final win over Denmark’s Marcus Rindshøj and Andreas Søndergaard.

They made a strong start against their opponents, but Chiu and Yang gained control midway through the opening set.

Hemming and Van Leeuwen refused to give in easily but eventually went down 21-16, 21-13.

Sadly, the women’s doubles final didn’t go the distance after injury forced Birch and Smith to retire.

With the English pair 10-4 up against home favourites Debora Jille and Cheryl Seinen, Smith rolled her ankle during a point, requiring treatment after going down on court.

Smith and Birch were unable to continue forfeiting the final, although thankfully Smith later confirmed on social media the injury is not too serious.

That left Hemming and Pugh as England’s last hope of winning a title as they took on another Dutch team in Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek.

The Scottish Open champions were looking for their first title of 2022 on the international circuit and were competitive in the early going.

But at 6-6 the home favourites won six points on the spin which swung momentum of the contest, allowing them to take the opening set.

The second set was 12-11 in favour of the English pair, but a stunning ten-point streak for the Dutch duo gave them the title, 21-17, 21-12.

Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore also impressed in the mixed doubles, reaching the semi-finals of the tournament beating two pairs from Taiwan along the way.

Their run was ended by Tabeling and Piek, who progressed after a 21-14, 21-14 win.

Elsewhere, Steven Stallwood and Hope Warner suffered a disappointing second round exit to Søndergaard and Iben Bergstein, going out in straight sets, 21-18, 23-21.

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